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International Congress of Pediatrics (ICP 2013) - Melbourne, Australia

Author: Dr. Jonny Taitz
Consultant Paediatrician, Director of Medical Services
Royal North Shore Hospital, Sydney, Australia


I was fortunate enough to recently attend the International Congress of Pediatrics (ICP 2013) in Melbourne, Australia. The Congress occurs every 3 years with the next congress (ICP 2016) in Vancouver. There were almost 3000 delegates from around the world. What was especially pleasing was to see the large number of delegates representing developing world countries across the globe.

On the second day I co-presented a workshop with Dr. John Wakefield, Director of Medical Services at Royal Children’s Hospital in Brisbane. Prior to his current appointment he was the head of the Queensland Patient Safety Unit. Unfortunately, Dr. Peter Lachman was unable to make the trip down under.

The topic of the workshop was “The Challenges of Paediatric Safety”. The concept was to get participants to think of the best indicators and outcomes for paediatric safety and quality and also how to measure these indicators and outcomes. We were also aware that this was a 6 day congress where the typical mode of learning was didactic lectures. Not really ideal for adult learning principles. As a result we provided 2 ten minute presentations and then broke up for small group interaction.

It was very pleasing that over 100 delegates attended our session- including the current paediatric College chair! In my session I looked at the new national standards for accreditation in Australia to see if they were child friendly or not. Clearly some of the standards are more easily translated to paediatrics than others. Especially important to us are medication safety, recognition and response to the deteriorating patient, appropriate use of blood products and clinical handover. Pressure injuries and falls less so. Readers can view the full Australian national standards at the following link: National Safety and Quality Health Service (NSQHS) Standards

John presented a number of frameworks for patient safety and also highlighted the key domains that should be incorporated in a quality and safety governance system. We then challenged the audience to break into small groups and devise their own paediatric patient safety indicators. We allowed 20 minutes for small group discussion and then 10 minutes for feedback. It was very pleasing to see the enthusiasm with which the task was undertaken. While there was disagreement in the room some common themes emerged. The main indicators were:
-Involving consumers
-Well trained child friendly staff
-Patient identification
-Medication safety
-Recognition and response to deteriorating patients
-Blood safe programs
-Clinical handover and communication
-Antimicrobial stewardship
-Incident management

At the end of the workshop we summarised the key priorities. Our only regret was that we did not have enough time as we would have liked another hour at least!

We concluded with a short presentation on the history, value  and importance of the work that PIPSQC does. All participants were encouraged to sign up and also to tell their friends and colleagues to sign up too. The website and contact details were provided so hopefully we will have lots of new members signing up soon. All told - a very enjoyable day, and good publicity for PIPSQC as well.

For more information on the ICP, please visit: International Pediatric Association (IPA)